Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Blog Linkage, Quotable Quotes, Spaghetti Pie, Amazing Race - Easter Style

Good Friday morning!

You may or may not have noticed I changed my header picture again. Instead of one duck, there are now two. I am currently looking for some chickens to photograph.

I think I could take some awesome chicken pictures.

Don't ask me why. It's a gift I cannot explain.

RANDOMNESS #1 - The Basketball Banquet was held this past Wednesday night, and a good time was had by all.

It was the last basketball "event" for six of the chicks, so it was a little bittersweet.

Thanks to the Seniors and Coach Barnett, this team really came together as players AND friends. It was one of the sweetest seasons I've ever experienced... as a Mom of a Chick on the basketball team!

Roxie and Kelci. They've been together since 7th grade, and it appears they are going to keep on keeping on.

Kelci and Joy. (I love Joy's name. It fits her, I think. Look at that smile.)

Roxie, Caroline, Taylor and Kelci.

The Varisty Chicks!

Roxie and Sweet Taylor.

Roxie and Legs. (Chelsea No. 1.)

Roxie and Daloney. (Chelsea No. 2.)

I know what you're thinking. That is not a good print for me. This top is being retired as we speak. But other than that, it's a good picture, don't you think?

Roxie and Mikie always take a good picture... regardless of his print.

I love this picture of Roxie with the basketball court behind her.

And I'm glad The Chick still has a couple more years to play. It ain't over yet!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Amazing Race - Easter Style! - We did this in 2009 with my kids and The Cousins. It was a BIG hit, so I thought I'd repost for those of you who have tweens and teens who might want to do something fun together.

This falls under "transition traditions" for teenagers who liked hunting Easter eggs when they were younger. If your family set aside a day for traditional egg hunts, this is something new and fun to try with the now older kids in your family.

Since I have this planned for the Friday before Easter, I will give you my outline and the Monday after Easter I will tell you if it was successful... or not.

1. We are going to the Galleria after school on Friday. (My three children - ages 18, 15 and 12 and my sister's three children - ages 17, 15 and 11.)

2. The three oldest (Austin, Brad and Josh) will be on a team by themselves. Katie, Roxie and Zac will be on a team with their Aunt Bev.

3. The clues will be on a piece of paper I will have in a large manila envelope. There are two places in the Race they will receive envelopes from other people in the mall.

The following is a copy of the instructions, clues and envelopes:

Each team will have the following when the race begins... 1 manila envelope; 1 instruction sheet; 1 pen; 1 digital camera. When the race ends, each team should have all of the above, but also two envelopes (one from Auntie Anne's Pretzels and one from their Grandmother) along with a signed Easter card for their Grandmother.

Each team will start together in the same place. I will hand a large manila envelope to each team. Of the eight clues I am about to show you, Team One will be racing in order (1 - 7), and Team Two will be racing backward (7 - 1). They will not know the difference. They have the same clues, just in a different order so they won't arrive at the same destinations at the same time. This is what the sheet of paper will say when they open their manila envelope.




1. Find the elevators in the middle of the Food Court. Ride to the 2nd floor and back down again a total of three times. You should exit on the 1st floor. NOTE: YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE SECOND FLOOR THREE TIMES BEFORE YOU GET OFF THE ELEVATOR ON THE 1ST FLOOR.

2. Now make your way to the Book Store in the mall. Find an Easter book. Take one member's picture with the book.

3. Go to where children are having their picture made with the Easter Bunny. Take one member's picture with the Easter Bunny behind them. NOTE: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT IN LINE AND HAVE YOUR PICTURE MADE WITH THE EASTER BUNNY. HE JUST HAS TO BE IN THE BACKGROUND OF YOUR PICTURE.




5. Find the Gourmet Bubble Gum machines in the mall. Each person on the team must find and buy their favorite flavor. Before you move on to the next clue, EACH person must blow a bubble with their bubble gum.

6. Go to BumperNets. EACH person must play one game before moving to the next clue. It can be air hockey, pinball, pool, etc. You do not have a lot of time. REMEMBER... PLAY ONLY ONE GAME PER PERSON. (It is acceptable for air hockey to count for two members of the team. The third member of the team would need to play another game. The games can all be played at the same time.)

7. Go to the Hallmark Store and pick out an Easter card for Grandmother. Watch your money. (BE CHEAP!!!) Purchase the card. ALL three team members must sign the card with the pen in the manila envelope. Seal the card and put it in the manila envelope to give to Grandmother at the end of the race.

8. Make your way to the entrance of J. C. Penney's and look for Grandmother. This is the Pit Stop of this leg of the race. Remember, the last team to arrive may be eliminated.

Now remember, this is Team One's list. Team Two's list will begin as follows and go from 7 to 1.

1. Go to the Hallmark store and pick out an Easter card for Grandmother. Etc., etc., etc.

Each Team's number 8 on the list will be the same.

I will arrive at the Galleria early to talk to the clerk at Auntie Anne's Pretzels, and leave the envelopes.

Again, this worked out great in 2009. The kids had a blast and the adults had a pretty good time, too.

Quotable Quotes - I feel very "Billy Graham-ish" today, and I love the following quote:

"Too many women have too much leisure time for their own good. They have time for criticism, gossip, faultfinding and complaining. They have time for idle games and lay too much attention to things of the flesh. There are other women who have too little time for the enduring things of life. They are too busy flitting about doing this and that. They have great activity and much doing, but they lack time for building Christian characters. Both kinds of women... the too-idle and the too-busy need to take time for meditation and quiet repose in prayer to God. They need time to cultivate their souls that in turn they may cultivate their children's lives."

Unfortunately, I am guilty of both sides... too-idle sometimes AND too-busy other times.

However, today I am going to intentionally cultivate my soul.

I can't think of a better thing to do on Good Friday!

Blog Linkage - Do you want to smile right now? I mean, right this very minute?

Go to www.kellehampton.com and click on her March 27 post entitled "Love. That is all."

Watch the video.

Are you smiling?

I thought so!

Spaghetti Pie

This is my Pinterest recipe for the week. Or should I say, Roxie's Pinterest recipe for the week?

She made this while I piddled in the kitchen... and it was good!

You will need the following:

4 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 10" glass pie plate with olive oil. Cook, drain spaghetti and set aside.

2. Cook beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat for 10 minutes or until beef is brown. Stir in pasta sauce, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook an additional 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Place spaghetti in pie plate.

4. In a small bowl, stir eggs and cottage cheese until well mixed. Spread evenly over spaghetti.

5. Spoon beef mixture over cottage cheese mixture.

6. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

7. Bake 35 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Roxie and I left out the green pepper and the onion. We used Ragu Pasta Sauce (Traditional).

It was very flavorful.

It cuts just like a pie.

Not only was it delicious, but it presented well, too!


Weekend Happenings

I honestly believe we are going to have a most wonderful weekend.

Mike and The Brothers are going to The White House for a steak dinner tonight, and then they are going to check out G. I. Joe starring THE ROCK!

I'm just a little envious.

Tomorrow I'm going to dye four dozen eggs for decorating Saturday night. Do not ask me who will be decorating the eggs. It may be one person or it may be five people or it may be a dozen. I know I will have the eggs and all the decorating paraphernalia available from 5:00 p.m. until midnight!

Sunday, we will attend church as The Faulkner Five. There are only two times a year we sit together in church as a family... Easter and Christmas Eve. Those are very, very special times for me as the Maternal Unit.

That being said, I'm pretty sure something will happen and some of us will end up sitting somewhere else... and I'll just have to get over it.

And we know how good I am at getting over things!

After church, we will head to Oxford for our Easter Celebration with Mike's family... which means MATTHEW AND LAUREN! I am so excited.

See. I have all the makings of a really, really good weekend.

And I'll end this little section of my blog post with the usual disclaimer...

We'll see what really happens, and I'll tell you all about it Monday morning.

Have a meaningful Easter weekend. I'll be back Monday morning with all kinds of good stuff... and pics!

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

"But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:8-9.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mindless Monday, Quotable Quotes

Good Monday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS #1 - We celebrated Easter with my side of the family yesterday at Grandmother's.

And we had a very good time.

Grandmother made a little centerpiece on each table with Peep Cups... and Roxie went around and bit the ear off each and every purple Peep before we sat down.

Instead of dying the "white" part of the deviled eggs pastel colors, I decided to dye the "yellow" part of the deviled eggs a light, bright green.

It came out a little more mossy green than I would have liked, but I think it still falls into the Spring Green category.

Or maybe not.

We also played Easter Spoons, Easter Farkle and Easter Blow-the-Q-Tip-Into-the-Bowl-Using-a-Straw.

The Lovely Melia was the overall winner, and she accepted her Regal Cinema Gift Certificate with a big ol' smile.

We are fortunate because we will be celebrating Easter with Mike's side of the family (Matthew and Lauren) this coming Sunday, and I cannot wait.

I also cannot wait until NEXT Easter because I will have ANOTHER great-niece by then thanks to my nephew, Jared, and his sweet wife, Amber.


RANDOMNESS #2 - We also celebrated Brad's birthday. The boy is 21 years old... which is hard to believe since I was only 30 when he was born... and I just turned 40 my last birthday.

I'm not very good at math, but I believe that is known as a modern-day miracle!

Some things never change.

The Birthday Boy/Girl still blows out candles AND still sits on the floor surrounded by his/her gifts.

(Our family will traditionally give you a chair to sit in on your 25th birthday... and not before.)

RANDOMNESS #3 - Roxie and I went to The Galleria Saturday afternoon. Surprisingly, Austin and Mike asked if they could tag along.

When we pulled into the parking lot, Austin asked, "Are we going to leave around 3:00?"

It was exactly 2:15 when he asked this question.

"Austin, we're going to be here until around 4:30. We'll get home around 5:00," I patiently explained.

"OH... MY... WORD! What are we going to do at the mall for TWO HOURS?" he AND Mike simultaneously moaned.

"I knew it! I knew this was going to happen! They are going to ruin EVERYTHING!" Roxie declared.

"No. No, they are not," I told her.

And then I addressed the testosterone in the front seat of The Big Gold Van.

"Roxie and I don't care what the two of you do, but meet us at Auntie Anne's Pretzels at 4:30 for a snack before we head home," I instructed.

"Auntie Anne's? Auntie Anne's? I wanted cinnamon sticks and icing," yelled one.

"Auntie Anne's? Auntie Anne's? I wanted a sugar cookie from The Cookie Company," yelled the other one.

"I don't care," I yelled back. "Meet us at Auntie Anne's at 4:30 with your snack of choice."

And they did.

And it was pleasant.

And when we left The Galleria, everyone was happy and content.

But I don't think the men in the family will be going on a shopping trip with the women in our family any time soon...

Which suits us just fine.

RANDOMNESS #4 - An Old Easter Story - I've been looking through the Archives, and I had forgotten this little gem from four years ago!

On Sunday, we decided to attend the 9:30 a.m. service at our church. The MOST crowded service of all. Shockingly, we arrived early enough to get in line in the hallway. Within moments of the doors opening and the 8:00 a.m. people spilling out, we should have been shuffling in to claim our seats. Uh-oh! Wait a minute! Unfortunately, we had inadvertently gotten in line behind "Passive Easter Service Attenders." Big, big mistake!

They smiled and let a HUGE line of people coming from the other direction cut in front of our line. Had they NEVER been in a carpool line? Did they NOT KNOW line etiquette? Were they trying to get into Heaven by letting HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE in line ahead of us? These were all the very non-Christian-like questions running through my head.

Keep in mind, if these people were "Passive Easter Service Attenders," the Faulkner Five (Code for ROXIE LEE) will now be forever known as an "Aggressive Easter Service Attender." And while non-Christian-like questions were running THROUGH my head, Roxie was loudly verbalizing her non-Christian-like responses.

"What is WRONG with them?"

"They need to PUSH?"

"Come on, everyone. PUSH!"

"Ughhh! It's like they've never been to church before!"

It was kind of like Road Rage... except inside the church... on Easter Sunday morning... talking about very kind, giving people. I'm just glad we decided not to add a taser or pepper spray in her Easter Basket. Things could have gotten ugly.

Quotable Quotes - I read the following quote recently, and it "rang true."

"In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends." John Churton Collins

Have a wonderful week. I'll be back Friday morning with Basketball Banquet pictures, more Randomness, more Easter, etc., etc.

Take care, and I'll talk to you Friday.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. I'll leave the post this afternoon with some "family-type" pics taken yesterday.

How cute are these guys?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Taco Tater Tot Bake, Blog Linkage, Retro Easter Idea (2012)

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Spring Break No. 1 is almost over (Roxie's) and Spring Break No. 2 (The Brothers') is just beginning.

Roxie spent a lot of time in Tennessee this past week. After we came home from our Nashville trip, she left Tuesday morning with a friend to do the "Chattanooga" thing. She came home yesterday morning and as I type this, she is hanging out with her Dad at The Original Pancake House.

I'm not sure, but I think we may go to the mall some time this weekend since rain seems to be in our future.

Mike only took off one day this week for Spring Break (today) because a whole week off when Roxie was going to be out and about seemed a little wasteful.

He's also going to take a day off next week after we get the guys' work schedules. The original plan was FISHING, but it may be a little cool/wet/winter-like for that to happen.

Plan B includes a trip to Hoover Tactical to use their Christmas Gift Certificates, the GI-Joe movie and another breakfast at The Original Pancake House.

Personally, I'm hoping for Plan B because I want to see the movie and eat a few crepes!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Did I mention the SEC Basketball Tournament was in Nashville the same weekend we were in Nashville? Well, it was.

Did I mention the SEC Basketball Tournament is held in an arena directly across the street from The Country Music Hall of Fame? Well, it is.

Did I mention Nashville has the BEST parking in the world, and we found parking only two blocks from the museum AND our restaurant of choice? Well, we did.

After our trip to the museum, we were less than one block from Jack's Bar-B-Que. The Brothers and I decided to get a table, and Mike and Roxie went to The Big Gold Van to pay for more parking.

Nashville has so much history, but I love the "new," too.

And I especially love how the "old" stays the same, and the "new" just peeks over it a little bit.

You know you're in for a culinary treat when the sign of your eating establishment is bright, bright red... with flying piggies all over it.

I must admit, I was a little nervous about our dining experience. Jack's is a cafeteria-style restaurant, so you stand in line while workers fill your plate. The dining room was incredibly small. People were standing in line out in the street, so the door was open and it was hot and stuffy in the tiny downstairs eating area.

I noticed several signs which said "Extra Seating Upstairs." I told Mikie what I wanted, and went to check out the "extra seating."

I know! It was empty, large and cool. And guess what else?

It stayed empty, large and cool. Jack's Bar-B-Que rocks!

We went back to the hotel until time for The Grand Ole Opry!

Who doesn't love Ricky Skaggs?

The Chick. The Chick does not love Ricky Skaggs.

And Steven Curtis Chapman? Who doesn't love Steven Curtis Chapman?

The Chick. The Chick thinks he's okay, but not that great.

Oh... my... goodness! Charlie Daniels... The Devil Went Down to Georgia... AWESOME! Who doesn't love 76 year-old Charlie Daniels?

The Chick. The Chick doesn't care for fiddle players.

Yeah. This picture is inaccurate. Roxie's smile is totally FAKE!

But doesn't she look pretty?

RANDOMNESS #3 - Retro Easter Idea (2012) - I'm reposting this from last year's Easter blog post.

I promised my brother-in-law, Tommy, he could have an easy Easter this year. Most years, he is running around a mall chasing and photographing teenagers (Amazing Race - Easter Style), driving around Trussville in search of the elusive inflatable purple Easter Bunny (Easter Video Scavenger Hunt) or starting fires with a piece of flint and some straw (Survivor - Easter Island).

He was tired.

He wanted an Easter nap.

He deserved an Easter nap.

So this year (and this year only), I caved.

I decided to make Easter bags for all the cousins. I then bought a TON of Dollar Store Candy, and we played a series of games.

The first game was Spoons. Of the six kids playing, whoever lost and didn't get a spoon that round DID NOT get a piece of candy put into their bag. (We played six rounds of Spoons.)

Next, we played Farkle. When you roll the dice and have no points, that is called a Farkle, and the next player gets to take a turn. Whenever someone had a Farkle, everyone else got candy except for the "Farkler."

After playing Farkle awhile, the bags were getting pretty full.

To end the competition, every kid had to roll the five dice three times. For every "five" they rolled, they received a piece of candy in their bag.

Then it was time to count the candy.

The three top winners each won a $10 Regal Gift Certificate... and everyone won a bag of candy.

The only "Easter-y" thing about this year's competition was the colorful Easter bags filled with candy.

That, and the happy teens with movie cards!

Next year, Tommy... Easter - Whose Line Is It?

The Enchanting Belinda Says - Actually, I'm still not sure what our "activity" will be for Easter 2013. I have two or three ideas, and I have to decide today or tomorrow because we're due at Grandmother's house THIS Sunday.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I'll have to let you know.

Blog Linkage - Click on eighteen25 under My Blog List and read yesterday's post entitled "Dino Eggs." Cute, cute idea.

Also, click on the word "this" at the bottom of the post. It will take you to a blog post which will give you 40 non-candy Easter Egg filler ideas.

Simple, inexpensive and fun.

Taco Tater Tot Bake

I found this on Pinterest Wednesday, and I made it last night. I loved it. Mike and the kids liked it. I will be serving it again.

You will need the following:

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package taco seasoning
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen corn
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies, diced and drained
1 (12 ounce) can black beans, drained
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1 (16 ounce) package frozen tater tots
1 (10.5 ounce) can red enchilada sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.

2. Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add in ground beef/turkey, onion, and garlic. Cook until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain fat.

3. Add in taco seasoning, frozen corn, green chilies and beans. Cook until heated through.

4. In a large bowl, combine the meat mixture, 1 cup cheese and tater tots. Mix until combined.

5. Pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce on bottom on 9" x 13" baking dish. Add in tater tot meat mixture and smooth until flat.

6. Pour remaining enchilada sauce on top and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

NOTE #1 - This is a BIG recipe. You will have enough for a meal for five with plenty of leftovers.

NOTE #2 - I didn't serve any side dishes with this meal except for fruit. It is tasty and very filling.

NOTE #3 - If you don't care for black beans AND/OR corn, this is not a recipe for you and yours. It has a lot of black beans and corn throughout!


Weekend Happenings

Okay. Once again, I don't have many concrete plans. I only have plans written down in the faintest pencil markings you will ever see.

Because "Moms plan, and teenagers laugh," you see.

I think one of the kids will be home tonight. I don't know which one.

On Saturday, I think I may be Galleria-bound with The Chick, but it depends on weather, friends, hair, other plans and if she's in a "shopping mood," or not.

On Sunday, I KNOW The Faulkner Five will be attending church, and I KNOW we will be going to Grandmother's for my side of the family's Easter celebration.

I KNOW I'm making pastel-colored deviled eggs and peach-colored mandarin salad.

I KNOW we'll be playing some sort of marvelous game. I DO NOT KNOW which marvelous game it will be.

I KNOW I'm going to enjoy being here, there and everywhere with Mike, Austin, Joshua AND/OR Roxie at any given time during the weekend.

I KNOW I'm going to have to be flexible.


I hate the word "flexible" as much as The Chick hates the word "bluegrass!"

Have a fantastic weekend. It will be rainy and cool here in Central Alabama... not very Spring-like at all, but we'll make the best of it. The malls are screaming our name!

Take care, and I'll talk to you Monday.


The Enchanting Belinda

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mindless Monday, Another Nashville City Adventure (and a Perfect Nashville Date), Pinterest Easter Tradition... You've Been Egged!, Blog Linkage (Easter Idea)

Good Monday morning!

It's official. I am now a bird photographer. Who knew birds were so photogenic? Who knew I would ever feel compelled to follow birds around and snap away? My motto concerning birds has always been, "Don't look them in the eye, and maybe they won't attack."

Of course, that motto has never worked for me, but lately they have started posing instead of pecking, swooping and just plain ol' dropping out of the sky.

Our relationship is improving.

RANDOMNESS - Another Nashville City Adventure - We had a few specific reasons for traveling to Nashville this past weekend.

1. Mike and I wanted to attend the wedding in Franklin, Tennessee of Cam's daughter, Haley.

The weather could not have been more perfect.

The bride and groom were beautiful, young and so in love.

The food, music and cakes were wonderful.

And I had a good hair day.

I ask you, how often do you get perfect weather, a beautiful bride and groom, wonderful food, music and cakes AND a good hair day to coincide?

I don't think it has ever happened to me before.

2. The kids do not have the same Spring Break schedule this year, so we decided to do another Nashville City Adventure.

It didn't turn out exactly how I had envisioned.

While The Chick looks happy, let me just say, that wasn't the case.

Our itinerary while visiting the Country Music Capital of the World was simple.

Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum.
Eat at Nashville's one and only Jack's Bar-B-Que.
Go to the Grand Ole Opry for a Saturday night concert with Ricky Skaggs, Charlie Daniels and Steven Curtis Chapman... just to name a few.

And this is what I discovered...

The Chick hates museums.

Jack's Bar-B-Que was very good. The Chick did like the bar-b-que.

The Chick hates bluegrass. At any given time at the Grand Ole Opry, there will be some bluegrass performed, but sometimes it is less than others.

Saturday, March 16 at The Grand Ole Opry was one-half bluegrass.

Nope. The Chick wasn't happy.

Nineteen year-old guys only like the first floor of the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum.

Because they've actually heard of the artists featured on the first floor, you see.

Eating at Jack's Bar-B-Que was Josh's idea in the first place, so he was pretty content with our restaurant of choice.

And he really likes country AND bluegrass music, so The Grand Ole Opry was a treat for Josh. A very enjoyable treat.

Just to keep you up-to-date, at this point in our City Adventure, we had one who wasn't at all happy and one who was half happy.

The Boy LOVES Nashville.

He read every plaque in the museum and watched every little video presentation.

He ate his (and The Chick's) plate of bar-b-que.

The Grand Ole Opry is "the best place on earth" as far as The Boy is concerned.

The best.

Yeah. This picture is totally wrong.

Put Austin's face on Roxie's face (and vice versa), and you have a much better glimpse of our past weekend.

Josh's face is dead on.

I'll have more pretty Nashville pictures Friday morning. (Just because we didn't have the most wonderful time in the world does not mean I didn't take an unusually large amount of photos. No, sir! Fun or not, it will be documented!)

A Nashville Date

Since Nashville is less than three hours from our home, it would be a GREAT day-trip date with a spouse (or a 22 year-old guy) who loves country and bluegrass music.

We sat in the balcony and our tickets cost $45 apiece. Because of the screens situated in the Grand Ole Opry, you have a perfect close-up view of everything happening on stage, and the sound is fantastic.

The Opry lasts from 7:00 p.m. until 9:15 p.m.

We thought there would be an hour's worth of traffic leaving, but we were in the parking lot 15 minutes tops... and the Opry was packed out!

We could have been home around midnight, which isn't bad for such a pretty drive, dinner and a concert.

Not bad at all.

I think Mikie and I may make a fall date to the Opry and enjoy more of what Nashville has to offer.

And when I say "date," I mean The Chick stays home!

Blog Linkage - Click on "the anderson crew" under My Blog List and scroll down to "Older Posts." Go to the post dated March 15 and entitled "easter."

She has an excellent idea of how to keep Easter morning simple and to the point for little ones.

You've Been Egged!

I found this tradition on Pinterest, and it sounds like a fun way to remind your own kids, neighbors and family the reason we celebrate Easter.

This is how it works. On a pastel sheet of construction paper draw a large egg-shaped oval. Print the following inside the egg.


There are 12 eggs hidden in your yard!

Enjoy the hunt, but don't be discouraged when you find the empty egg. It is a simple reminder of Jesus' empty tomb... for He is RISEN!

Hide 11 filled eggs in a friend or neighbor’s yard (and make sure to leave the 12th one empty).

Tape the paper egg to their door... knock... and run!

I would have so much more for you today, but I'm feeling just a little puny.

Forgive me. I will be back Friday morning with the rest of the pics, more Easter traditions and maybe a new recipe. I need to cook something this week!

Take care, and I'll talk to you soon.


The Enchanting Belinda

Mindless Monday will be here at 3:00 p.m.

Hey, Guys.

How do you like my new duck picture? I took that picture myself... in Nashville... this past weekend. I'll tell you all about it at 3:00 p.m.

Because that is when the official Mindless Monday (March 18) post will be shown!

You can look forward to the following:

1. Pics of Nashville.
2. Stories from past and present Nashville City Adventures.
3. Easter Traditions.
4. A date idea... or two.

Please be patient and come back around 3:00. I'll make it worth your while, I promise.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekend Happenings, MORE Easter Basket Ideas

Good Friday morning!

Today begins Spring Break... for Roxie.

NEXT FRIDAY begins Spring Break for The Brothers.

Needless to say, we were in a bit of a Spring Break Activity Dilemma, but I think I've finally figured it out.

The kids aren't kids any longer. However, I'm still a Mom.

What is a Mom with three kids who aren't kids any longer (and two different Spring Breaks) to do?

My solution is posted below under Weekend Happenings. Until you get there, you have to muddle through a little Randomness, Easter Basket Ideas, Miscellaneous Pics, etc., etc.

Sorry. I have to do things in some sort of order or my brain will explode, and the world (as we know it) will end. Keep in mind, "my order" and "your order" are two completely different things, and I don't expect you to understand or agree with my version.

That being said...

RANDOMNESS #1 - As I have told you countless times before, I attend Body Pump classes. Body Pump is basically lifting weights while listening to music.

I rock at Body Pump.

Our Body Pump Instructor informed us we would be having a Body Flow class on Wednesdays during the month of March, and I was excited.

I have been wanting to try Body Flow because I had been told it was a "stretching" class.

I rock at stretching.

But Body Flow is much more than stretching. It includes yoga AND pilates.

Body Flow is stretching, but it is not the "feel good" kind of stretching you do in the morning when you wake up.

Nope. It's the painful kind of stretching you experience when you try to do a back bend in your 50s.

In other words... stretching which should never be attempted at a certain age.

It's a 60-minute class, and while I don't think I'm a great student of Body Flow, I can honestly say I am beyond awesome the last ten minutes of the class.

Because the last ten minutes of the class have nothing to do with stretching.

All you have to do is lay/lie on your mat very, very still.

Don't move. Breathe evenly. Enjoy the nothingness of the last ten minutes.

Back in the day, I believe it was referred to as "nap time."

I rock at nap time.

I will continue to attend Body Flow on Wednesdays because of one (and only one) aspect of the class.

Let's hear it for nap time!

RANDOMNESS #2 - No one was home when I walked through the door from Body Flow Wednesday. Thus, no pics this week. I'll make sure someone is photographing me getting out of The Big Gold Van and "flowing" to the front door the next time I "Flow!"

Since I have no new pictures, I decided to post last year's Spring Break Debacle!

Also known as "The Boy's Appendectomy."

As you may recall, this time last year, we were planning to go to New Orleans for Spring Break... on a train... with our good friends, the Tuggles.

The night before we were to hop aboard the train, The Boy began suffering from appendicitis. Being the good, conscientious parents we are known to be, Mike and I decided to let the doctors remove the appendix INSTEAD of taking The Boy to New Orleans doubled over in pain.

It was a good choice, I think.

Also, as you may or may not recall, at the end of last year's Spring Break Week, we grabbed The Lovely Melia and Ragan, and headed to The Westin in Huntsville for a couple of nights.

We saw The Hunger Games at The Monaco, shopped, ate and had a good (but not comparable to New Orleans), good time.

Like I said above, it wasn't New Orleans, but we had fun.

MORE Easter Basket Ideas

As I told you Monday, these ideas came from Pinterest.

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers and Preschool Boys

Squirting bath toys
Play tool set
Board books
Finger puppets
Sun hat
Finger paints
Theme bandaids (Cars, Spiderman, etc.)
Piggy bank
Plastic eggs filled with quarters

NOTE - Stay with the child while they open the eggs and put ALL of the coins into the piggy bank together.

Easter Baskets for Kindergarten and First Grade Boys

DVD — VeggieTales: Twas the Night Before Easter
Sticker books
Stamps and ink pads
Character shampoo/comb
Velcro ball and catch gGame
Sour candy

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers and Preschool Girls

Bath crayons
Bath toys
Character toothbrush
Water color paints and brushes
Painting smock

Easter Basket Ideas for Kindergarten to 1st Grade Girls

DVD — VeggieTales: Twas the Night Before Easter
Sticker books
Stamps and ink pads
Bubble bath
Cute towel set
Bead set

Easter Basket Ideas for 2nd to 3rd Grade Girls

Jump rope
Glue stick
Construction paper
Fun scissors
Fun toothbrush and toothpaste
Silly Bands
Ponytail holders
Sparkly nail polish
PEZ Character dispenser/candy

Easter Basket Ideas for 4th to 5th Grade Girls

First nice piece of jewelry (cross necklace or a ring)
Calligraphy set
Bathing suit
Flip flops
Character beach towel
Lip gloss
Small dry erase board and markers
Fun beaded curtain for doorway

Easter Basket Ideas for Middle School Girls

Tickets to the movies
Fun pens
NIV True Images Teen Bible for Girls
Cute spring sandals
Accessories for her favorite sport (knee pads, elbow pads, shoelaces, eye black)
Facial scrubs, masks, moisturizers
Fashion scarf
Cool phone cover

Easter Basket Ideas for 9th to 12th Grade Girls

Key chain
Driving accessories (fuzzy dice, scented car sprays, steering wheel cover)
Manicure set
Favorite makeup
Spring scarf
Grown-up candy (Godiva)

Easter Basket Ideas for College-Age Girls

Packets for flavored water
Instant coffee-to-go packets
Microwave popcorn
Reusable water bottle
Roll of quarters for laundry and vending machines
Sleep mask and ear plugs
Flash drive
Hair scrunchies
Fuzzy slippers
Body wash and bath poof

Have fun!

Weekend Happenings

Mike and I are attending a wedding tonight. My friend, Cam, has a daughter who is getting married in Nashville. Haley was our babysitter many moons ago, and she holds a special place in our hearts because she gave me and Mike a much- needed break from our offspring from time to time.

Now that I think of it, I don't think we paid her enough!

The rest of the weekend involves a surprise I'm not allowed to talk about until Monday, a Harlem Globetrotters' date for Austin and Melia... and last, but not least, cleaning out my laundry room... because my washing machine is on it's last leg... and we bought another one last night... but it won't be delivered until some time next week... and I have to be ready when they call to deliver.

Why does the word "laundry" appear in my blog posts EACH AND EVERY TIME? WHY?

Roxie's Spring Break will be filled with "Roxie stuff." Movies, shopping, spending time with friends and cousins, spending time with family, etc., etc.

The next week (Spring Break for The Brothers) will be filled with part-time jobs, staying up until the wee hours, sleeping until time to go to work and some fishing time.

Mikie will go to work instead of taking time off.

I'll be doing LAUNDRY and Body Flow.

I just love Spring Break!

Have a beautiful Spring weekend. I'll be here... bright and early Monday morning... because we have two different Spring Breaks, you see.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mindless Monday, Trisha Yearwood's Sugared Pecans, Blog Linkage, BOY Easter Basket Ideas

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - "The best laid schemes (plans) of mice and men often go awry." That's a quote from Robert Burns' poem entitled To a Mouse written in 1786.

I read the poem, and I didn't understand it... at all.

1. Why would a grown man write a poem about turning over a mouse's nest while plowing a field? Did he have nothing better to do?

Mr. Burns' question to me might be, "Why would a grown woman write a blog about her day-to-day goings-on? Doesn't she have laundry to do?"

Touche', Mr. Burns. Touche'.

2. I know the history of the above quote because I Googled it... because it came to my mind several times this past weekend.

In other words, my plans went awry.

Fell through.

Didn't happen.

Fell apart.

But lucky me. The plans happened to fall apart in the nicest way.

3. John Steinbeck took the title of his book Of Mice and Men from this poem.

Obviously he understood it more than I did when he read it.

But enough about Burns and Steinbeck.

Let's get back to ME.

If you recall, I planned a Faulkner Family Movie Night and dinner for anyone available Friday night.

I made an edible dinner, and Josh, Mike and I sat down to enjoy it. Roxie went out with friends, but she wanted to come home for the movie at 8:00. Austin and Melia were on a date.

Four out of five Faulkners ain't bad.

But then, unraveling began. Roxie called to ask if she could come home at 9:00. We agreed. Mike and Josh left to pick out the movie. The general rule of thumb at our house when picking out a movie for Faulkner Family Movie Night revolves around animation, superheros or lighthearted romantic comedies. The movie can be rated G, PG or PG-13 (if we've read the review from Focus on the Family).

Deep, thought-provoking movies aren't really received well at Faulkner Farms (circa 1864).

Also, Oscar-nominated films have never been received well. We tend to find them too depressing, too artsy or just too difficult to understand.

Imagine my surprise, distaste and/or disbelief when the guys came home with Beasts of the Southern Wild. (It was nominated for an Oscar... or two... or three.)

I looked at the movie they put into my hands, and waited for someone to say, "Just kidding. Here's Wreck-It Ralph. Start the popcorn."

No one said anything.

No one put anything ELSE into my hands.

After a minute of silence, Josh said, "I told you she wouldn't like it."

Roxie arrived home and we sat down to watch the highly-acclaimed Oscar-nominated film.

This is what I "got" out of the film.

1. I love the little girl was named Hushpuppy. If I had another baby (which is scientifically impossible, by the way), I think I would name it Hushpuppy.

2. I also think it is good it is scientifically impossible for me to have another baby to name Hushpuppy, because I'm pretty sure he/she wouldn't like me very much once he/she entered Kindergarten and the other kids found out his/her name was not a nickname.

3. Hushpuppy was a precious little girl. I loved her.

Okay. That's it. Ninety-seven minutes I'll NEVER get back.

Also, you may recall I said I had planned a date for Mikie from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Unbeknownst to me, Roxie had planned a study group from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

At our house, study groups beat out Mom/Dad dates 99 times out of 100.

That's okay. I'm a grown-up. I handled it well.

I said Sunday was open to anything, so I quickly moved our DATE to Sunday afternoon... and then I dared anyone to mess up my plans.

And the "dare" thing worked.

I took Mikie to The Birmingham Zoo on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and we had a wonderful time.

Take that, Robert Burns!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Mike hasn't been to The Zoo since they've added some of the new exhibits, so he was pretty impressed.

It was a perfect Spring day and the animals were out and about enjoying the good weather.

Mike let me take as many animal pictures as my little heart desired, and it was one of the nicest afternoons I've had in quite a while.

I hope you don't think I'm bragging, but do I not take the most beautiful bird pictures EVER? I mean, REALLY! If you have a bird and you want it photographed, feel free to contact me.

I promise I will make you proud!

Mike and I walked into the Lorikeet enclosure, but we didn't buy any food.

Obviously, you don't need food.

How do you like my animal print shirt? I specifically wore it to The Zoo so I would blend in with the locals.

And I stuck out like a sore thumb!

I take good big cat pictures, too.

Monkeys are also my friends.

I call Mikie the "Rhino Whisperer." He stood there calling the rhino until it came to pose for a photo.

And giraffes... Well, giraffes are just about the MOST photogenic creatures in the history of the world.

All in all, it was a great day.

RANDOMNESS #3 - The Body Flow (a/k/a Yoga) Story is going to have to wait until Friday. (I'm going to have a picture!)

Blog Linkage - Go to www.kellehampton.com and read her post entitled "Those Hot Pink Jeggings." It's pretty funny... or sad. You decide.

Trisha Yearwood's Sugared Pecans

Mike and I watched Trisha Yearwood's cooking show Saturday morning, and I made the Sugared Pecans featured on the show Saturday night.

You will need the following:

1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups pecan halves

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3. Pour the melted butter onto the lined sheet.

4. In a large bowl, mix the egg whites, sugar and cinnamon. Add the pecan halves and toss until they are fully coated.

5. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the pecans every 10 minutes.

7. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

I followed the recipe exactly, but my pecans only needed baking 25 minutes instead of 30. Some of them were a little "too done."

They are delicious.

BOY Easter Basket Ideas

Easter Basket Ideas for 2nd to 3rd Grade Boys

Ball and glove
Baseball cap
Rubik’s cube (8 years and up)
Card games
Flashlight and batteries

Easter Basket Ideas for 4th to 5th Grade Boys

Swimming trunks
Water and/or boat shoes
Baseball cards
Tickets to a baseball game
Basketball and hoop for back of door
Super size candy bars

Easter Basket Ideas for Middle School Boys

Music (Toby Mac, Relient K, etc.)
Movie tickets
Accessories for his favorite sport (knee pads, elbow pads, shoelaces, eye black)
A new watch
Body wash/spray
Cool desk lamp
Earbuds/iPod accessories
Concert T-shirt of favorite band
Cool phone cover

Easter Basket Ideas for 9th to 12th Grade Boys

Driving accessories (fuzzy dice, scented car sprays, steering wheel cover)
Car washing kit (wash, shammy, wax)
USB car charger
Tickets to a concert
Shaving kit/razor
After shave/cologne
Favorite team jersey

All of these ideas came from a list I found on Pinterest. I'll have the Girls' List Friday!

Have a tremendous Monday. I'll be back Friday morning with St. Patrick's Day ideas, Easter ideas and who knows what else. (I certainly don't.)

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda
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